Ruth and the Green Book

by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Floyd Cooper

Young Ruth is excited to be traveling with her parents from Chicago to Alabama in... read more

Young Ruth is excited to be traveling with her parents from Chicago to Alabama in their 1952 “sea mist green” Buick to visit her grandma. Then a gas station attendant won’t let her mother use the restroom, and the anticipation of staying in a real hotel turns to disappointment and anger: no Blacks allowed. It’s an attendant at another gas station who tells them about The Negro Motorist Green Book , a guide to businesses and homes that welcome Black travelers. “I couldn’t stop reading it—all those places in all those states where we could go and not worry about being turned away.” They stay one night at the home of a Black woman who welcomes them with a warm smile and a free room, and a second night at an inn where every visitor has a copy of the Green Book . “It felt like I was part of one big family!” Illustrations heighten the sense of history and emotion in a fascinating picture book that stays true to a child’s perspective while illuminating the essential support African Americans provided one another in the face of mid-twentieth-century racism. A historical note provides additional information on the development and uses of The Negro Motorist Green Book . (Ages 6–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011

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